Eurovision 2015 Semi-Final 1 Wrapup: Who Got the Party Started in Vienna?

Sixteen countries competed in Tuesday's semi-final of the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest. Which ones will continue to party in Saturday's Grand Final?

The 60th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest got underway in Vienna, Austria Tuesday, with 16 countries competing for ten spots in the Grand Final taking place on Saturday.

The show opened with last year’s champion (and this year’s green room hostess) Conchita Wurst reprising her winning song Rise Like a Phoenix. After introductions, the Contest began in earnest with hot cops from Moldova, inclusive punk from Finland, confidence boosts from Serbia, and ending with interesting vocabulary from Georgia. After votes from juries and viewers in the participating and designated1 countries, these are the ten that advanced to Saturday’s Grand Final:

If you checked out our predictions post from earlier today, you would see we did a pretty good job in identifying nine of the ten qualifiers.2 Our one miss was selecting Belarus over Romania. With our process, we rated Belarus quite high in our April rankings though rehearsal footage seemed to indicate a subdued performance. Unfortunately, the actual performance underwhelmed but our methodology caused the song to rank to high to fall out of favor. With Romania, the song never really latched on. However, the rehearsals indicated the song “De la capat (All Over Again)” played better live, which likely worked in Romania’s favor. Also, do not doubt the power of the Romanian diaspora, particularly when the song is explicitly about the Romanian diaspora.

Other items of note:

  • Greece, Romania, and Russia all maintain their perfect streak of appearing in Eurovision.
  • Hungary may have played the spoiler for a number of Eurovision pools. The bookmakers, the press, and YouTube viewers did not have the song in their top 10, and it was also our bubble pick. This is the country’s fifth-straight qualification since returning to the Contest in 2011.
  • Armenia, Belgium, Estonia and Serbia will perform in the first half of Saturday’s Grand Final. Albania, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Romania, and Russia will perform in the second half.

The second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest will take place Thursday at 9pm CET / 3pm Eastern / 12pm Pacific. You can catch up with Tuesday’s semi-final and watch Thursday’s semi-final live (and with International Sign Language interpretation!) on the Eurovision YouTube channel.

  1. Austria, France, Spain, and special guest Australia  
  2. Not to be too smug, but I got 10/10 in my personal rankings.  

A Word from Google Ads

  • I had 8/10 this round, and I’m #sorrynotsorry that I had both Finland and Belarus on my qualifying list. I still think Finland is way underrated. They have a great punk song! And Belarus — well, we will talk more about this on Friday, but damn they really failed on bringing that performance to the stage. I still can’t believe that Twerpy Hamster Date made it to the finals last year, and this year’s song didn’t.

    I am sooooo happy about the ISL broadcast being available on YouTube! Those interpreters are incredibly talented storytellers, some of them doing such a clear job that I could identify the core themes they were highlighting with no knowledge of the language. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for some of the SF2 songs.